Homemade Beef Stroganoff

Yummy Beef Stroganoff
Yummy Beef Stroganoff. Image via alexis22578 via flickr.

Coming home, after a 45 minute drive in stop and go traffic is not the high point of my day. It’s such a drag for me that I often feel overwhelmed by doing the next task: cooking dinner. My husband lamely claims he can burn water, as if that’s a viable excuse to get him out of what he deems an arduous task. It usually works, though, because I see our trade offs in car maintenance versus food preparation. I prepare the food, because it’s important to me and I enjoy it. He maintains our cars because he knows how, doesn’t like other people fixing things he can fix, wants to save a buck, and I do believe he enjoys it no matter his complaints about what stupid thing an engineer did.

Generally, I love cooking. But, after an 8 hour day, navigating the 4 year olds mood swings, and then driving in traffic: I detest the thing I love: cooking.

Last night, I decided we were going to have Beef Stroganoff for dinner. Our OGC order came in. Luscious, beautiful produce. Let us learn from last year’s mistakes: order simply and use it all up. My pound of lovely crimini mushrooms… what shall I do? Last night they were turned into a sort of lamb-bok choy-carrot stir fry/stew. I had about half a pound left. What do do? Ooh, some of that lovely Taylor-Made ground beef stroganoff! Yum! Delish!

The task, although sounding so delectable is waived off into procrastination when I see what must be done when I get home. My husband doesn’t see food “mess” the way I do. He had toast, made juice and left his pants on the table. I took a deep breath and asked first for him to put away the food he used this afternoon and last night. I cannot cook in a kitchen that is not tidy. I then asked him if he could please remove his boxers and pants from the dining room table. I was happy I worded it in a way he heard the silliness. He removed them and put things away. (Note: the pants and boxers were clean and on the table as a dropping off point from the bike-to-bag-to table unloading.)

Okay, but now I have to coooooook? Okay, Stroganoff. Ketchup is the surprise, simple is my pleasure. What to do? This is what I did. Excitement mounted. It was good.

  • Heat pan.
  • Melt 2 tbsp butter in pan over low-medium heat.
  • Add one onion, chopped. Sauté for a few minutes until soft.
  • Add 4 minced cloves of garlic. Sauté until softer. Maybe 5-8 minutes total.
  • Add mushrooms. Soften mushrooms.
  • Add 1 lb (pastured, hormone free, organic, grass fed) ground beef (lean) to pan. Brown hamburger.
  • Salt, added about 1 tsp.
  • Cleared rounded space in middle of pan. Added about 1/4 cup beef broth.
  • Added about 3 tbsp ketchup.
  • Stirred ingredients together, tasted. Adjusted ketchup by rinsing bottle and adding a little more ketchup and water- maybe 1/4 cup total.
  • Added about 1 tbsp corn starch to thicken. Whisked in corn starch to liquid with fork until lumps removed. Stirred together over low-medium heat.
  • Added one very large dollop of (organic, pastured) sour cream. Simmered over low heat until macaroni noodles were done.
  • Served over macaroni noodles with blanched green beans.
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